Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer
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Have a quick question about oil. I have a 2001 Explorer Sport and I was talking to a mechanic who thinks that 5W-30 doesnt offer enough protection and that I should use 10W-30 instead. I am in Houston and it rarely goes below frezeing and for the most part the temp is around 80 degress anyway so I dont think I even hit the 5W. I was wondering if anyone else is usein 10W-30.
I live in Phoenix which gets hotter than Houston and stays hot longer. I have never ran anything but the Ford recommended 5W30 in my '97 SOHC. I have put 92K troublefree miles on my Explorer without ever using a drop between the 3K-5K intervals that I follow. Ford is now starting to recommend 5W20 over the last couple of years. I would stick with what Ford recommends. I'm sure they spent a lot more resources and Engineering time to determine what is right for your Ford engine than your local mechanid has. It won't hurt anything either way though but I doubt if you will see a benefit either.
Use what Ford recommends. These new engines are designed with different tolerances and materials. They need the lower viscosity. The only problems we see at work are from poor maintenance or improper oil. I see plenty of newer Fords going over 225,000 miles with proper care. My opinion is based on seeing this all day every day and not owning one and driving it for 100k miles with some other weight oil. I will say that the SOHC is prone to engine valve train problems, but that has nothing to do with lubrication. Also, I have seen thicker oil cause check engine lights with missfire codes. The computer is more sensitive on picking up missfires than we are. It measures the crank shaft speed and thicker oil can effect lifter operation.
My suggestion, check with the Ford Service Department in your area and follow their recommendation. Apparently the new series of Ford engines have been known to cause oil filters to virtually explode if oil viscosity is too high.
Just my suggestion after talking to my local service department.
I have a 2000 Explorer. The specs call for 5W 20, not 5W 30. The
owner of the local Ford dealer and I had a conversation about the
oil weight. He asked his factory trained techs about it. According
to them, the newer SOHC 4.0L, needs the lighter weight for the cam.
They said the cam will not last without it. The SOHV's may be run
with 10W 30.
Apparently, the OHC needs to be lubricated as soon as possible after
starting the engine, and a lighter oil will pump faster. The Ford
engineers set the specs. That made perfect sense to me. I will,
however, continue to use Valvoline. My '96 Splash has 99.5K and I
have used nothing but 10W30 Valvoline. New oil and filter every
3K miles. Ford recommends changing every 5K miles.
All I can say is, don't screw around with getting the engine serviced
on a regular basis. Stick with the recommended oil on the SOHC.
Your Technician is out to lunch. The 20W reading only specifies the weight of the oil at 100C (IE 20W). That is at operating temperature. It has nothing to do with the cold startup weight. That would be the first number (IE 5W) which is the weight of the oil at 0C. The use of 20W versus 30W helps Ford squeeze out a couple fractions of better mileage to meet CAFE requirements. With today's engine's having tighter tolerances the thinner oil isn't a problem. As you said, it is adviseable to stick with what the manufacturer recommends. Incidentally, I have 93K on my '97 SOHC that has seen nothing but 5W30 over its life and my tensioners haven't made a bit of noise since they were replaced 45K ago.
Oil weight isn't necessarily oil weight. Synthetic oil of the same weight as conventional oil doesn't get as thin at high temperatures and doesn't get any where NEAR as thick at low temperatures, hence its superiority, that is why all the new trucks ship with synthetic rear-end fluids and alot of them come with synthetic tranny fluid...etc. Your engine's clearances, oil pump, oil delivery system and complete lubrication system was designed to operate on a certain weight of oil, when you mess with that you are asking for problems. If your oil pump is meant to pump 5w30 and you start running 20w50, your valvetrain will starve for oil until that oil is warm enough to flow freely to the valvetrain, which will inevitably cause a great deal of damage and lead to a much shorter engine life. Use the recommended weight of oil, the best oil you can buy, or afford and change it frequently and you will find your engine will reward you by giving you better gas mileage, low emissions, low or non-existent oil consumption, more power and best of all, long engine life. My EX 4.0L OHV has had 5w30 Mobil1 Synthetic in it since I bought it (used). I drive the living ***** out of it, I love watching that tach bounce off the 5 mark, sometimes hitting 5,200, its great, and knowing I've put 220K on this engine and it still runs like new, my oil is as clean going out as it is coming in on every oil change and it purrs like a kitten, no rattles, pings, knocks or anything, scores 0.0002 on the e-test and runs as smooth as silk. You look after your engine and it will last a long long time.
I adjust my oil to the life of the engine. I've used 20W-50 for years on many vehicles. Currently I have a 97 OHV with 125K and use 10W-40. With that oil, the oil pressure when hot is about 40# driving and 20# at idle in gear. The same engine with 20W-50 runs around 47# highway and 25# at idle. At startup, the pressure relief valve keeps the pressure at 60#. I see nothing wrong with the pressures of a 10W40 and would sure like to hear pressures from someone who is running 5W-20. Why do you think they have idiot gauges. People would be screaming at their dealers when they saw the wild swings. All my cars go well over 200K.
You can lead a person to information, but you can't make them think.
I think number 8 on the message board has that backwards. The low number of the weight is the weight at 100c and the high number is the starting temp. Those numbers are actually the time that the oil takes to go through a viscosity cup. 5 seconds would be thin or hot oil and 20 seconds would be cold oil. I may be wrong on this but I've been an industrial mechanic in a manufacturing plant for 13yrs and that is the way we measure oil breakdown in large industrial blowers.
Sorry for the long post.
ive been running shell rotella 94 4.0, that oil is about as good as it gets. but in the winter i had to go a lighter weight because in the mornings here in the midwest it got a little thick for the oil filter and would by pass it
so i switched to 10w and it ran like a champ
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